Key Elements of a Public Awareness Program – Part 2
Are there other ways of getting news coverage besides news releases and press conferences?
News releases on run-of-the-mill activities are unlikely to generate much interest, but unique projects generate attention. Get creative in your projects and tell the world.
If your event isn’t much out of the ordinary, you can generate attention by hiring a local news anchor to serve as emcee. People love the opportunity to meet celebrities and news anchors are local celebrities.
Invite local dignitaries or other celebrities to events. Both are likely to bring along an entourage. If you invite political figures, you tap into a different source of interest from community members. I once lived near Earl Baakan, inventor of the pacemaker. Any local organization that could get Baakan on the agenda there was guaranteed to get a full house. If you need judges, ask some of those dignitaries or celebrities to serve the cause.
Hire local newspaper photographers to cover your events. The photographer will probably bring along a reporter. Reporters are always seeking to reach the front page. That is the person who can figure out an angle that just might land your event on the front page. The reporter will have the photographer get some special shots for a story, shots that are likely to hit the front page in smaller communities.
If covering your news gives this reporter more stories that appear higher and higher on the page, you’ve made a friend.
Make it a Win-Win and everyone benefits.
Be sure to read this whole series on Creating a Public Awareness Campaign. Check out the first article in this series, What Makes a Story Newsworthy?
How to Build Media Relationships, How to Write a Press Release, and Two Simple Tools for Generating Publicity are yet to come.